Here’s a gun owner and hunter who thinks assault-style weapons should be banned

Assault-style weapons: Time to say goodbye.

Assault-style weapons: Time to say goodbye.

Yes, I’m a gun owner, a hunter, a user of firing ranges and a long-time supporter of the second amendment.

I carry a concealed handgun legally in the Commonwealth of Virginia and I’m not ashamed to admit it or allow my permit be part of the public record.

And, yes, I believe assault-style weapons should be banned and gun restrictions should be tightened in America.

America is an increasingly violent nation, one where disagreements too often devolve into arguments, fights and criminal acts.

And, as a reporter who covers courts and police activity for newspapers and other media, I see an increasing number of so-called “law abiding” citizens under arrest and in court for situations where such disagreements end in violence.

In Virginia, it is now legal for a concealed weapons permit holder to carry a hidden firearm into a bar.  The law says such permit holders must not consume alcohol, which is not a problem for me as a recovering alcoholic with 18-and-a-half years plus of sobriety.

But it is a problem for people that I know who do carry their concealed firearms in local bars and who do drink while carrying those weapons.

It also is a problem for someone who gets into an argument with someone who has been drinking and who ends up pulling a firearm to settle that argument.

In recent months, I have covered a number of court cases involving someone with no criminal record who got into such an argument and tried to settle that argument with their legally owned and carried firearms.

They acted in an illegal manner. Two are now in prison.  One is awaiting trial.

Statistics in Virginia and elsewhere show such crimes are increasing, too often involving persons with no previous arrest or criminal records.  An increasing number of domestic arguments now end in shootings and/or murder, too often committed by someone with no record and committed with a firearm legally purchased and owned.

An increasing number of children are killed by other kids who found a handgun at home and brought it to a playground or school and the gun was fired and someone was injured or killed.  In too many cases, that gun was legally owned by a parent with no criminal record.

Let’s face it.  Guns in this nation are too easy to buy, too easy to own and too easy to misuse.

Since gun laws have been relaxed in this nation, the increase in arrests of people for illegally brandishing a firearms in a tense situation have quadrupled.  In more than 90 percent of the cases, the use of that firearm was by someone with no previous arrests.

As for assault-style weapons, I used to own such weapons.  I found I seldom used them, except for occasional target practice, and I also found that too many people that I knew who did own them did so to serve their testosterone. That is a situation that invites trouble.  Now I own just handguns and firearms for hunting.

The National Rifle Association claims attempts to ban assault-style weapons and large capacity magazines are a violation of the second-amendment right to own weapons.  That is crap.  The amendment guarantees a citizen’s right to own a firearm but it does not limit the government’s ability to limit the legality of some firearms.  Private ownership of automatic weapons is illegal.  So is private ownership of Cruise missiles.  Does the NRA see that as a constitutional question?

It’s time to bring some sanity back into this debate.  Yes, law-abiding Americans have a right to own firearms but that right should be subject to background checking and greater scrutiny.  Perhaps testing should be part of the right to bear arms.  You have to prove you can drive a car.  Why not prove you can safely and responsibly own a firearm.

Let’s look at the issue responsibly and debate it with facts, not hyperbole.

Which means the NRA and other groups like them on both sides of the issue should shut up and let the adults take over.

Copyright 2013 Capitol Hill Blue

16 Responses to "Here’s a gun owner and hunter who thinks assault-style weapons should be banned"

  1. Bill Cravener  February 22, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Let’s face it. Guns in this nation are too easy to buy, too easy to own and too easy to misuse.

    Good read Doug, I agree completely!

  2. Alan S  February 22, 2013 at 9:40 am

    He we go, Here is a hunter who thinks assault weapons are not needed, and in Canada they think hand guns aren’t needed, as long as they can shoot Bambi all is well. I hope he only uses a bolt action rifle, and a single shot shotgun, no pump or semi to hunt Bambi, as a semi auto is an assault weapon, as stated he carries a handgun, well if it a semi auto it’s an assault weapon, a bit of double standards here, also on the ban lists, and by Canadian hunters also handguns, assult weapons, what ever that is, are not needed. These self righteous hunters don’t realize its sport shooters that keep stores open, and shelves stocked, we shoot thousands of rounds a year, I like military style stuff, I don’t kill Bambi. So when my guns are gone, I could not care one bit when they take Hunters guns away. And when you use your “Mauser Action” based hunting rifle, don’t forget that action was designed for an assault weapon, a bolt action military rifle. See these words are dangerous, an Assault Rifle is a rifle the military uses with select fire and are not legal for citizen ownership, those I believe in the states that are privately owned need to go through tons of paper work, registration and fees. Zero owned in canada. An assault weapon can be a baseball bat.

  3. griff6r  February 22, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I know it’s a much used cliche, but guns don’t kill people…

    All the examples given show a lack of civility, bad or neglectful parenting, or just plain stupidity.

    This is more a breakdown of civil society where the government and media have become a pervasive influence on behavior. So-called “law-abiding” citizens are being pushed to the edge with joblessness, endless debt and a bleak future.

    The sense of hopelessness is palpable these days. The pall of despair hangs over society like a black cloud.

    And the politicians fiddle…

  4. Almandine  February 22, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    It’s hard to understand how the “style” of a gun makes it so much more lethal. Caliber ??? Got it. Automaticity ??? Got it. But style ???

    I’m reminded of those low slung Honda Civics with BIG noisy mufflers you see being driven around by NASCAR wannabes… as if the modified chassis and glass-pack muffler make them worthy of “race car” status.

    For ONCE I agree with Biden… the double barrel 12 gauge is a bigger threat.

  5. egc52556  February 22, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    “Yes, law-abiding Americans have a right to own firearms but that right should be subject to background checking and greater scrutiny.”

    I agree. But gun owners also need to be held responsible for crimes committed by people who were given access to the legally obtained weapons. Adam Lanza killed 27 at Sandy Hook Elementary using his mother’s guns. She knew Adam was disturbed yet recklessly brought these semi-automatic guns into their home and encouraged him to learn how to use them. Restrictions on buyers at time of purchase alone would not have prevented these deaths. If you fire a gun and hit an unintended target you are still responsible: intent follows the bullet. Likewise I think responsibility snd liability should follow the gun.

  6. woody188  February 22, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    I also own firearms and have a concealed carry permit and I’m not afraid to tell people about it. But I understand that the right to keep and bear began with common law and that arms does not mean firearms but any type of weaponry. This definition has been twisted over time by men with nefarious designs counter to liberty and freedom.

    Today they are trying to redefine our 2nd amendment with secret new interpretations by the Executive branch, which I will hence forth refer to as the Unitary Executive, their preferred title for their dictatorship.

    There is a highly defined and legal process with which to modify the Constitution. These cowards would rather just say things that aren’t true and steal our rights. Then they have the nerve to question our mental facilities when we point out that what they want to do is illegal and will lead to unrest and possible violence.

    If you want to take our arms, change the Constitution and redefine the contract with the people. Stop pretending we are free and show your true colors. To continue with the secret interpretations and definitions is to ensure there will be blood spilled.

  7. Bill Cravener  February 23, 2013 at 8:49 am

    The Second Amendment is without doubt a confusing piece of wording. Gun opponents argue that its wording referenced a power struggle between state militias and the British federal army. On the other side gun proponents argue that well-regulated meant well-armed believing that there should be no limits on gun ownership. I myself do not see it in the gun proponents way. Guns are just too easy to acquire here in America by nearly anyone allowing as many gun purchases as one has the money to buy.

    In this country’s early days citizen militias were key to its continued survival. These militias trained together in groups and during the Revolutionary War fought together as one. In the 21st century the gun proponents make the claim that gun ownership is necessary for protection against our own federal government. This to me is nothing more then paranoid nonsense and is what I like to call the “black helicopter syndrome”.

    The reality is neither the left nor the right has a strong answer to the problem of guns in this country. But in the absence of stricter gun control regulation the continued ownership of an increasing number of guns by fewer individuals will be increasingly more dangerous to all of us at best.

    Were our founding fathers here today they would be horrified at what we have done to their Second Amendment, of that I am certain!

  8. Almandine  February 23, 2013 at 9:08 am

    The founders would be horrified at the lack of respect and adherence given to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the rule of law.

  9. Sandy Price  February 23, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Al, you are absolutely correct in your words describing the words in our U.S. Constitution. There is no respect shown in the operation of our government and zero respect shown for life in general.

  10. woody188  February 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Keep and bear arms.

    Keep is to own, bear arms is synonymous with waging war since at least Shakespearean times. It is only in modern times these words have been changed to mean we are allowed hunting rifles and small arms for our own personal defense.

    Do you call a gun dealer when you want to purchase tanks, APC’s, rockets, missiles, and bombs?

    No, that’s an arms dealer. See the point?

    In a country where a Unitary Executive orders the assassination of anyone he wants to without being required to provide any evidence, hold a trial, or even say that he has done so, is it so outlandishly ridiculous to think that the only thing keeping them from murdering us in our own homes is the fact that we are armed?

    We have every reason to be concerned. First they will ban the “assault weapons” which include some shotguns if anyone bothered to read what the Vice-Unitary Executive has put out there. Then it will be hand guns, the real firearm of choice of criminals. Finally, we’ll be so modernized, we won’t be hunting so we won’t need those hunting rifles anymore either.

    Ask Australians and the British how much they enjoy their gun bans. A plurality will tell you they wish they still had that right!

    Funny thing is, if we truly believe these are basic rights, they do have that right would they only stand up and take it back.

    • woody188  February 23, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      My favorite quotes from the link above:

      “The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose.” – James Earl Jones

      “There are no dangerous weapons. There are only dangerous men.” – Robert A. Heinlein

      “But if someone has a gun and is trying to kill you … it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” – Dalai Lama

      “…the right to defend one’s home and one’s person when attacked has been guaranteed through the ages by common law.” – Martin Luther King

      “As a card-carrying member of the liberal media, producing this piece was an eye opening experience. I have to admit that I saw guns as inherently evil, violence begets violence, and so on. I have learned, however, that in trained hands, just the presence of a gun can be a real “man stopper.” I am sorry that women have had to resort to this, but wishing it wasn’t so won’t make it any safer out there.” – Jill Fieldstein (CBS producer, Street Stories: Women and Guns)

      “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.”
      - Mahatma Gandhi

  11. jay kalsbeck  February 23, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    “It’s time to bring some sanity back into this debate. Yes, law-abiding Americans have a right to own firearms but that right should be subject to background checking and greater scrutiny. Perhaps testing should be part of the right to bear arms. You have to prove you can drive a car. Why not prove you can safely and responsibly own a firearm.”

    Yes, by all means. And then, while we’re at it, why don’t we make sure people are responsible with words and only say things we agree with before just granting free speech.

    We had also better make sure that the people they peaceably assemble with meet our (read: your) definition of a “peaceable” and agree with what we (read: you) think.

    As well, let’s just make sure that as long as the authorities believe you have committed some infraction that they be allowed to come into your home at any time. No proof necessary. As well, let’s just let them arbitrarily execute us with no trial or due process. (oh, wait, they already do that because the president knows best).

  12. Jon  February 24, 2013 at 9:12 am

    The problem is that everyone who carries a gun thinks they are different people.

    They think they’re cool, they think they’re not going to pull it in a fight, every one of you who have responded think (and some have said) “I’m not that kind of guy”.

    You know what? Those who did pull a piece thought exactly the same of themselves … before they did.

    And then they said, “Well, I had a reason”. Ha ha.

    J.

  13. Sandy Price  February 24, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Jon, I casn’t think of another time in my 80 years where people are so shallow. Politics has come down to an agreeable redistribution of wealth. Every 4 years, we elect the leaders we want. It would be a simple fix to throw out all the Tea Party or Conservatives. I can not legally be a Republican in Arizona because I do not believe in God.

    I have only one question for the White House. Who pulls the trigger for the drones? Orwell understood! His readers were too damn dumb to catch on.

  14. Carl Nemo **==  February 24, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Unlike the editor of this site, I feel that the ownership of assault style weapons should be a mandated possession for every household in this nation, no different than the citizens of Switzerland.

    There’s evil afoot at our nation’s highest levels with a plan, no matter how seemingly disconnected at times to reduce our citzens to a nation of abject beggars and tax slaves.

    We best know who our betters are…eh?! / : |

    To me as well as Thomas Jefferson there is no ambiguity concerning the intent of the Second Amendment. There can be no quarter concerning its standing.

    *****

    “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” … Thomas Jefferson

    *****

    Bolt action rifles no differently than single shot, black powder muskets will not cut the mustard in our times if the need should arise to defend our core freedoms. Even with semi-auto AR15′s citizen patriots will be severely challenged and outgunned by a professional military contingent utilized by crimpols to enforce their jackboots of tyranny upon our collective necks.

    Freedom is not free…! : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Jon  February 25, 2013 at 1:55 am

      Oddly enough, I’m sorta with Mr. Nemo on the fact that gun control in the USA really is half-azz-ed. If everyone, like the Swiss, had mandatory firearm instruction and rules about keeping one, then there’d be fewer problems with handguns.

      The problem lies in it being half-baked. Some guns are permitted, some are not. Some require licenses, some don’t. Some states make it easy to get a concealed carry license. Some states don’t. It’s a basketcase, and extremist positions on both ends each have some validity.

      In other details: I ask, when you are driving down the highway and see a police car hiding behind a billboard, do you feel more or less safe? If you are more frightened of the police than of your fellow citizens, then that’s a classic definition of a police state.

      J.

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